San Francisco Scene: February 24 – March 3, 2017

Top of the Transamerica building, downtown San...

From the Bay Improviser Calendar.

Friday, February 24

Fri 2/24 12:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Workshop: Project Development
Gather tips from experienced producers and musicians on developing and managing your musical projects. Roundtable discussion will be followed by speed coaching sessions from 1:30 to 2:30 PM.

Fri 2/24 6:00 PM Presidio Officer’s Club [50 Moraga Ave SF]
Myra Melford

Fri 2/24 7:30 PM SFJAZZ Center [201 Franklin Street (at Fell) SF CA]
Ethan Iverson & Mark Turner duo/Anja Lechner & François Couturier duo

Fri 2/24 8:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Nutshell Studies: sfSoundSalonSeries presents David Smooke

Saturday, February 25

Sat 2/25 7:30 PM SFJAZZ Center [201 Franklin Street (at Fell) SF CA]
Craig Taborn Quartet/Aaron Parks Trio

Sat 2/25 8:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
The Opus Project Presents Opus 50: Even Wild
A mad dash into a brave new world, featuring composers who reached the half-century mark of composition! With flutist Alan Kingsley, soprano Jill Wagoner, pianist Feona Lee Jones, violinist Kristen Kline, and The Opus Project Piano Trio, String Quartet, and Orchestra. An unprecedented concert series in place and time!

Sat 2/25 8:00 PM David Brower Center [2150 Allston Way Berkeley, CA]
Snapshot – New Opera
Snapshot is your chance to hear excerpts from new operas by both emerging and established Northern California composers in intimate concert settings. After an overwhelming response to our call for scores, eight composers’ works were selected for Snapshot’s inaugural year.

Sunday, February 26

Sun 2/26 3:00 PM Bayview Opera House [4705 3rd Street San Francisco]
Snapshot – New Opera
Snapshot is your chance to hear excerpts from new operas by both emerging and established Northern California composers in intimate concert settings. After an overwhelming response to our call for scores, eight composers’ works were selected for Snapshot’s inaugural year.

Sun 2/26 4:00 PM SFJAZZ Center [201 Franklin Street (at Fell) SF CA]
Wolfgang Muthspiel, Ambrose Akinmusire, Scott Colley, Gwilym Simcock & Brian Blade/Dave King Trio

Sun 2/26 4:00 PM Old First Concerts [1751 Sacramento St. SF]
Bernal Hill Players

Sun 2/26 7:00 PM Zellerbach Hall [US Berkeley Berkeley]
Julia Wolfe: Anthracite Fields, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Cappella SF

Sun 2/26 7:30 PM SIMM Series @ The Musicians Union Hall [116 9th St @ Mission SF]
7:30pm James Washington Quartet
Steven Faivus – alto saxophone, James Washington – piano, Rob Bassinette – bass, Carl Hofmn – drums
8:30pm The Matt Renzi Trio
Matt Renzi- saxophone, oboe, English Horn, Lisa Mezzacappa- bass Jason Levis- drums

Monday, February 27

Mon 2/27 9:30 PM Studio Grand [3234 Grand Ave, Oakland]
Oakland Freedom Jazz Society: Ari Brown & Jakob Pek + Trois Chapeaux

Thursday, March 2

Thu 3/02 8:00 PM Luggage Store Creative Music Series [1007 Market Street SF]
Arrington de Dionyso – “This Saxophone Kills Fascists Tour”
Ted Byrnes
Ken Ueno/Matt Ingalls

Friday, March 3

Fri 3/03 7:00 PM Finnish Kaleva Hall [1970 Chestnut St. Berkeley]
HARDLY STRICTLY PERSONAL 2017 – A Celebration of Post-Beefheart Art — 3 nights of free and spirited musical innovation inspired by the Music, Words and Visual work of the ate Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart)

Fri 3/03 8:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
An evening of audiovisual improvisations and live coding with Shawn Lawson/Ryan Ross Smith, and James Fei/Bill Hsu/Gino Robair

Taylor Ho Bynum’s Latest Album Reviewed

English: Taylor Ho Bynum, Moers Festival 2007

Source: Bleader.

Cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum is tightly connected to the legacy and sound of visionary composer and reedist Anthony Braxton—he studied under Braxton, has played under his leadership for decades, and serves as executive director of the Tri-Centric Arts Foundation, which administers Braxton’s prolific output. In his own music, though, Bynum has usually mapped his own path. He’s had a fruitful partnership with drummer Tomas Fujiwara, and he’s led an evolving number of medium-to-large ensembles, privileging strings in some and brass in others—such as the band on his most recent album, Enter the Plustet (Firehouse 12).

Denardo Coleman on Ornette Coleman

English: Ornette Coleman at Enjoy Jazz Festiva...

Source: Ornette Coleman.

My father was deep, meaning his way of thinking and intuition could not be tracked. But he always seemed to bring new insight, new logic to whatever he was contemplating. The sound of his horn reflected this depth, the depth of the emotion of the raw soul. His concepts so advanced, so intellectual, yet his expression so human, so direct. He created and spoke his own language. For some his music was too complicated, too abstract, nothing to grab on to, just too out there. For others it was utterly profound because it spoke directly to the brain and to the soul simultaneously. As he would say, “It’s about life. You can’t kill life.” He was obsessed with expressing life through sound. He went into its properties as scientists had explored genomes, discovering DNA. He called his science Harmolodic. Open thinking, equality, freedom, the pursuit of ideas, helping others all included. He would say, “It’s about being as human as possible.”

Sun Ra’s Definitive Singles Catalog 

English: Sun Ra at New England Conservatory, F...

Source: Bandcamp Daily, the story behind this release. The article ran a while back but deserves more eyeballs.

Sun Ra departed Earth on May 30, 1993, just days after the 79th anniversary of his arrival. (One doesn’t talk about Ra in terms of “birth” and “death,” but more on that later.) He left behind a massive, convoluted musical legacy—including at least 120 full-length albums, one of the world’s largest known discographies—and perhaps an even bigger mystery. Who was this jazz composer/arranger/bandleader/pianist, who insisted that he was a native of the planet Saturn and espoused a philosophy that blended science fiction, Biblical texts and ancient Egyptian history and mythology (wearing costumes that also expressed that combination)? And what were we to make of his music, which ranged from big-band swing to bebop to avant-garde and fusion?

Twenty-three years later, we have some answers. It’s only in that time, for example, that Sun Ra has been revealed to be the former Herman Poole “Sonny” Blount, born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1914. A small army of researchers has made some sense of his discography as well, assigning session dates and personnel to previously un-annotated tracks. Many of the Sun Ra Arkestra’s albums were ex post facto compilations of disparate sessions and lineups. Still, there are a number of holes and gray areas, and perhaps always will be. But with Strut Records’ release of Singles: The Definitive 45s Collection—an assemblage of one of Ra’s most overlooked bodies of work—the picture becomes a bit more complete.

Jazz in NYC This Week

Craig Taborn (Prezens, at the Vortex (London) ...

Source: The New York Times.

SAM NEWSOME QUARTET at Smalls (Feb. 24-25, 10:30 p.m.). Mr. Newsome plays the soprano saxophone, most of the time alone. After starting his career as a straight-ahead tenor saxophonist, he took a left turn — soaking up inspiration from the Arab world, sub-Saharan Africa and Japan, and focusing mostly on the solo soprano saxophone. But this weekend at Smalls, he appears in a quartet with three of the strongest voices in creative music: the pianist Angelica Sanchez, the bassist Mark Helias and the drummer Gerald Cleaver.

OSCAR NORIEGA at the Stone (Feb. 28 through March 5, 8:30 p.m.). For three decades Mr. Noriega has been a major player on Brooklyn’s outré acoustic-jazz scene. His attack stays relatively clean and unburdened on both alto saxophone and clarinet; he makes time for slow, focused development. This coming week he is in residence at the Stone, where he will perform each night with a different group. On Tuesday, he’s in a duo with the drummer and vibraphonist Ches Smith. On March 3, a mighty quartet will feature Mary Halvorson on guitar, Trevor Dunn on bass and Dan Weiss on drums.

CRAIG TABORN at the Village Vanguard (Feb. 28 through March 5, 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.). Mr. Taborn, a masterly pianist, is celebrating this month’s release of “Daylight Ghosts,” his third album on ECM and his first with a quartet. It has a standard format — Chris Speed on saxophone and clarinet, Chris Lightcap on bass, and Dave King on drums — but a different kind of sound that cools and focuses your ear. Mr. Taborn is a kind of miniaturist, building small and powerful patterns; clearing space for Mr. Speed’s simple, threadlike saxophone; and letting force accumulate without clouding the picture. All the album’s musicians will join him for this string of twice-nightly performances.